So much of the restaurant experience is bound up in the décor and Sasha House Petite, though simple on first inspection, surprises with its unusual eccentricities: sleek chrome fittings; stools coated in burlap sacks; a miniature cup-and-saucer dangling overhead.
I’ve wandered past this place plenty of times and constantly written it off - the cranny-sized restaurant wedged between a chipper and car park. But last week, won over by a smattering of good reviews online I decided to take a visit.
I arrived shortly after 5pm and fully intended on grabbing a pastry (the chocolate ones looked especially good). But on a whim I opted for a savoury crepe – smoked salmon and cream cheese - which tallied in at €7 with a coffee. Good going, I thought.
The coffee arrived promptly - strong, comforting coffee without a hint of bitterness – and I started to wonder whether my eating habits verged on myopic.
Until my pancake arrived.
Let me preface this by saying that I love pancakes. If my wallet could extend as far as my waistline would, I’d eat them everyday. I don’t consider myself fussy and really believe food is forgivable to a point; bland is better than bad after all, while palatable can be glossed over given the right atmosphere.
When the plate arrived, however, I did a double take. I stared at my meal, looked back at the menu and wondered whether I’d zoned out and asked for an omelette. With trepidation I tore off a corner and carefully tongued my food: it didn’t taste of anything. Except grease.
Afterwards I wondered whether I’d been naïve going for a crepe and bought a blueberry muffin for later. While the muffin didn’t taste like it had been poached in sunflower oil, it was underwhelming to say the least.
Of course timing is everything as they say – and the stellar reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor suggest my visit was the exception rather than the rule. Without doubt the coffee is excellent and some of the treats behind the counter look delicious. But where pancakes are concerned, go elsewhere.